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Editorial: Pope Francis is winning hearts in America

Pope Francis' American visit has been a resounding success in recent days in Washington and New York and the excitement is building in Philadelphia. He has had a busy schedule, including addressing both Congress and the United Nations as well as ...

Pope Francis’ American visit has been a resounding success in recent days in Washington and New York and the excitement is building in Philadelphia. He has had a busy schedule, including addressing both Congress and the United Nations as well as paying respects at the 9/11 Memorial.
Francis first visited the White House Thursday, arriving in his modest Fiat. There he praised America’s devotion to freedom of liberty and religion. He cautioned that the great resources of the U.S. require a comparable moral responsibility.
He also commended the United States for its historic acceptance of immigrants and endorsed President Obama’s climate change program.
In a historic appearance Thursday, Francis became the first pope to address Congress. There he called upon America to embrace immigrants, from Latin America and around the world.
“Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the second World War,” the pope said. “We must not be taken aback by their numbers but rather view them as persons, … (and try) to respond as best we can to their situation.”
He also called upon Congress to take action to combat climate change, remember the “Golden Rule,” warned against erosion of the family and cautioned against “every type of fundamentalism” that supports any violence in the name of a religion, an ideology or any economic system.
He arrived in New York to cheers and waving fans Thursday evening and then spoke at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Francis addressed the United Nations’ General Assembly and world leaders Friday morning asking them to fight widespread poverty and economic destruction.
He said poor countries and poor people need to be given a voice.
He offered three specific proposals:
An international justice league for regulating claims of poor countries and limiting powerful countries.
Respect that Mother Earth has rights and calling for the protection of the air, trees and water.
He called for sustainable development around the world combined with addressing climate change now.
Francis then visited the site of the September 11 attacks and the ground zero memorial. There he prayed and then participated in an interfaith service and greeted families of 9/11 victims.
“This place of death became a place of life, too, a place of saved lives, a hymn to the triumph of life over the prophets of destruction and death, to goodness over evil, to reconciliation and unity over hatred and division,” Francis said.
Everywhere he visited, he was warmly greeted by people and often stopped to speak directly with common people.
After a Mass held at Madison Square Garden Friday evening, Francis flew on to Philadelphia.
The city of Liberty is anxious awaiting Francis’ events today and Sunday, including Mass each day.
He will address the World Meeting of Family, a major Catholic meeting today.
On Sunday, he will visit the
Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility.
Francis’ visit to America has touched the hearts and minds of many in America. We hope the people’s pope will fondly remember his visit here and will return sometime in the future.

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